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Suns Favored to Open 2-0 Lead Over Clippers in Western Final

Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns are favored in NBA betting odds to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference final vs the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers (55-31 SU, 47-37-2 ATS) try to avoid a 2-0 series deficit for the third time in the playoffs when they visit Phoenix for Game 2 of the Western Conference final. The Suns (60-23, 51-30-2), who have won and covered eight straight, opened as 6-point favorites.

Los Angeles Clippers vs Phoenix Suns
  • Date/Time: June 22, 9 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Phoenix Suns Arena
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Suns -6 | O/U 224 (Line History)
  • Clippers vs Suns Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Oddsmakers opened this line 2 points higher than it was Sunday, when Phoenix pulled away late to cover as 4-point chalk. The 234 points scored in that contest prompted the books to adjust the total up 4 points from the 220 line they posted in Game 1.

Los Angeles News & Notes

Forgive coach Ty Lue if he’s not hitting the panic button after Sunday’s series-opening loss. If there’s been anything consistent about the Clippers in these playoffs, it’s that they’ve started series slowly before finishing strong. Sunday’s 120-114 defeat dropped LA to 0-5 SU and ATS in Games 1 and 2, a stark contrast to their sparkling 8-1 SU and ATS mark in Games 3-7.

If the Clippers are going to turn this series around quicker than they did in the first two, they need to get more complementary scoring to support Paul George with Kawhi Leonard still sidelined by a knee injury.

PG poured in 34 points on Sunday — the fourth time in five games he’s scored at least 30 — but Reggie Jackson (24) was the only other Clipper to score more than 11. Terance Mann, who stepped up with a huge 39-point performance in LA’s series-clinching win against Utah in Round 2, came back to earth with a nine-point effort.

LA also needs to generate more scoring off the fast break (the Clips were outscored 16-4 in that department Sunday), get better guard play off the bench (Rajon Rondo was a minus-14 in 22 minutes of Game 1) and figure out how to stop Deandre Ayton in the paint. Marcus Morris Sr. is probably LA’s best option to slow down Ayton, but the veteran power forward was slowed by knee soreness in Game 1 and could be a game-time decision tonight.

Phoenix News & Notes

Chris Paul’s absence and a week-long layoff weren’t enough to cool off the Suns, who are in the midst of their longest winning streak in franchise playoff history. Phoenix is on an 8-0 SU and ATS tear dating back to Game 3 of their first-round series vs the Lakers, with each of those victories coming by at least six points and five of them by double-digit margins.

At the time of writing, Paul was still in the NBA’s health and safety protocols following his positive COVID-19 test last Wednesday, making his status for Game 2 uncertain. Cameron Payne started in place of Paul in Game 1 and did a pretty good CP3 impersonation, scoring 11 points and adding nine assists in 29 minutes.

Devin Booker also took over more of the playmaking in Paul’s absence, dishing out a team-high 11 helpers en route to recording his first career triple-double. Booker also had 40 points — becoming the sixth player in NBA history to have at least two 40-point outings in his first postseason — and was at his best when the Suns needed him down the stretch, scoring or assisting on 43 of Phoenix’s last 50 points.

Betting Pick: Clippers +5

LA’s early-series struggles are well documented, but this looks like too many points to spot a Clippers team that has lost just one playoff game by more than this margin.

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Shark Bites
  • Phoenix is 8-0 SU and ATS in its last 8 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Los Angeles’ last 6 games.
  • Phoenix is 18-2 SU in its last 20 home games.